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Does anyone have a CNC Plasma cutter?

Discussion in 'CNC Plasma Cutting' started by Mattshel, Dec 10, 2013.

  1. Mattshel

    Mattshel New Member

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    I was just wondering if anyone on here has one and can answer a couple of quick questions for me. Here is some background, we are looking at picking up equipment to do our blanks in house ranging from .060 all the way to .125 5052 H38 Aluminum. What is the minimum thickness you can cut or would .060 warp because it is too thin? Also how much finishing would be required to deburr it? Would a quick grinding of the surface usually suffice?
     
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  2. SebastienL

    SebastienL Active Member

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  3. Mattshel

    Mattshel New Member

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    I will give them a try, thanks for the infomation.
     
  4. James Burke

    James Burke Being a grandpa is more fun than working

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    Abrasive waterjet would be the way to go. It leaves no heat affected zone.


    JB
     
  5. fixtureman

    fixtureman Member

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    I cut that on my CNC router table. You just need the correct bit and maybe a mister or air to cool it.
     
  6. Mattshel

    Mattshel New Member

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    On the water jet, I have heard consumables as well as maintenance are a real pain and quite expensive, as well as being quite slow compared to a plasma.

    How much volume do you cut with your CNC Router? We buy around 300-400 blanks a month so it would need to do quite a bit of volume and most of them are .080" thick.
     
  7. Stanton

    Stanton Member

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    Plasma cutting aluminum leaves a ratty edge.

    (this is 0.1875")

    Plasma Cut Aluminum.jpg


    A 3/16" dia single flute spiral-up carbide end mill
    with mist coolant will give you a finished edge.

    (6061 cuts better)
     
  8. SebastienL

    SebastienL Active Member

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    Yeah! thats a lot of blanks! I don't think you can do that on a cnc router, at least not economically.
    For sure, water jet leaves a better finished edge. Maybe a sheer is what you need.
     
  9. Mattshel

    Mattshel New Member

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    Yeah, its between Shearing them or cutting them with a plasma. With the shearing a lot more hands have to touch the material though.
     
  10. Techman

    Techman Major Contributor

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    with that quantity you can get a die cut ..
     
  11. player

    player Major Contributor

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    Shear and a corner rounder or iron worker... No waste, way faster.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Wraps ink

    Wraps ink Member

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    I have one
     
  13. rjssigns

    rjssigns Major Contributor

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    See what fab shops in your area have. The one I use has 2 lasers and a huge waterjet. All my aluminum blanks are lasered and there is zero clean-up/deburring. Very reasonable pricing since they like to run the equipment all day and all night.

    Hate to pay the electric bill on their 6000 watt laser.:omg:
     
  14. Signs101Admin

    Signs101Admin Owner

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    I have a DIY that I built.
     
  15. FireFab

    FireFab New Member

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    My business started in metal fabrication and I run a 54" x 96" CNC plasma water table. I run a Hypertherm PowerMax 85 and can cut steel up to 1" thick. CNC plasma on aluminum can have a rough edge depending on plasma cutter, consumables, grade of aluminum. There are other options that would give a finished product that is smoother than plasma. There is plasma that is higher quality, but they come with a much higher price and require gas mixtures, not just shop compressed air. As suggested I would look for a metal fab shop that runs laser or can punch press them on a Iron Worker. Work a deal on quantity and it will cost you less than investing on metal fab machinery.

    Steel will cut cleaner than aluminum on plasma and this 5/8" plate is pretty clean right off my table with zero finishing.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2017
  16. equippaint

    equippaint Very Active Member

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    You can get a fairly clean edge with a plasma on aluminum but it wont be the same as a waterjet. We have a plasma we use to cut circles out of .063 and it leaves a clean edge with no burrs. It gets dirtier the thicker you go. Good tip and temp set right goes a long way. For blanks, Id use a shear unless you had hundreds and hundreds of them. Then get a corner rounder. You could get a small iron worker and stomp shear (if you need 4' and less) for a lot less if all you're looking to do is blanks. A shear and brake are very handy, you'd use them more than you think.
     
  17. henryz

    henryz Member

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    Have you tried your aluminum supplier to do them, We use Metals USA and they have mill or painted cut to size any thickness. Small quantities can be routed, we normally wouldn't plasma aluminum not for this use, like previously stated will warp the sheets and leave a jagged edge. Stomp shear and a radius corner notcher will do the trick as well.
     
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